How to charge for memberships

Memberships are available to customers on the Organization plan and above.

Paid membership is a powerful way to create community ownership of an organization. It is possible to offer multiple levels of membership based on the amount of money contributed, or whether the donation is made once or on a monthly basis. These membership types must be defined in the Settings section of the control panel before you can process paid memberships.

Charging for membership can occur on a donation page or when logging a donation through the control panel. Each donation page can process one type of membership. Gift memberships can also be created through the control panel.

With the help of the membership page kit, it is possible to create a single page that provides links to multiple types of paid membership. You will need to be comfortable editing a page template to follow those instructions.


Charge for membership on a donation page

Each donation page can process one type of paid membership. Whether or not you can set an expiration date for the membership is based on the types of donations being processed. The general rule is that each month a supporter is paying the organization, her membership must be active.

1. A donation page accepting one-time donations that doesn't accept installment payments can have any expiration date (or no expiration date) for the membership.  

2. A donation page accepting one-time donations and installment payments: the membership cannot expire before the installment payments end. For example, if installment payments are accepted for up to 12 months, than the membership must expire in 12 months or last longer than 12 months. Please note that membership expiration on installment donations is not working as expected. 

3. A donation page accepting monthly donations cannot set an expiration date on memberships. Since monthly donations are made automatically each month, the membership associated with this recurring donation must not expire. 


One-time donation memberships

You must have enabled both the donations and memberships in Settings > Defaults > Basics for people to become members by donating to your nation.

1. Create or edit a donation page. Go to Donation settings > Basics, and select one-time payment.

To require a donation of a specific amount to receive the membership, uncheck "Accept multiple amounts" and enter the desired amount.

membership_one_time_payment.png

2. Decide what type of membership a donor will receive in the Membership type drop-down menu. Membership types are defined in the Settings section of your control panel. 

3. If you want the membership to expire, select a time frame from the drop-down menu. You can choose from 1-31 days, weeks, months, or years. 

For an annual membership, you can set the expiration as either twelve months or one year.

Set_membership_on_page.png   alt_end_date.png

4. Click the "Save settings" button.


Donation pages accepting monthly installments

If your donation page allows payments as installments, the membership expiration must be greater than or equal to the maximum number of installments. This means that if a person is paying off a donation for twelve months, her membership cannot expire in five months. On the other hand, if the maximum number of monthly installments is five, membership can expire in twelve months. 

This ensures that a person remains an active member for the entire time she could potentially be paying for the membership. 

Correct settings when accepting payment as installments:

correct membership expiration with nstallment payments

Remember to click the "Save settings" button after defining the membership type and when it expires.

Please note: currently, every time an installment payment is processed, it adds time to the associated membership. This is not the expected functionality, but we do not have a timeline for fixing this problem. Please comment on the suggestion to voice your support for prioritizing a fix.


Monthly donation memberships 

1. Create or edit a donation page. Go to Donation settings > Basics, and select monthly payments.

To require a monthly donation of a specific amount to receive the membership, uncheck "Accept multiple amounts" and enter the desired amount.

membership_monthly_payments.png

2. Decide what type of membership a donor will receive in the Membership type drop-down menu. Membership types are defined in the Settings area of your control panel. 

3. Click the "Save settings" button.

A monthly donation page allows donors to agree to give you a set amount of money every month for an unlimited amount of time. Therefore, a membership expiration cannot be set and you will not see the "Expire membership in" options on these donation pages.


Create a page offering multiple paid memberships

It's possible to create a page that displays multiple paid membership options, with a tiled layout that shows a title, description, pricing, and a link to each of your membership types. You will need to be comfortable editing a page template to follow the below instructions to create this type of page, as it is not available as a default page type.

Please note: each type of membership needs to be processed from a unique donation page. So, you will need to create those donation pages before creating this page. These instructions offer a way to display membership options on a single page. 

First, download the Membership Page Kit, upload the included _membership_excerpt.html partial template to the Files area of your custom theme, and publish the theme.

Next, we'll build the page template to showcase the different membership types. Create a new page with the "Basic" page type, and click on the "Template" tab. Just below the {{ page.basic.content }} liquid tag, insert the following code block:

Your template should now look like this:

Sample page template

Where "membership_default_page_1", "membership_default_page_2", and "membership_default_page_3" refer to the page slugs of the default pages associated with your membership types. A membership's default page is defined in Settings > Memberships. For a paid membership, the donation page processing that membership should be listed as its default page.

For example, if you only have one membership type, with its default page located at http://your_nation.nationbuilder.com/membership_default_page, your snippet should look like this:

Simply save and publish the page template to complete the installation. Your webpage will look like this:

Sample page template


Donations processed from control panel (includes gifting membership)

You can record a donation in the People section within a profile or by adding a new transaction in the Finances section. When you add a donation, you also have the ability to charge a credit card. 

1. From a person's profile, go to Finances > $X donated > New donation.

new_donation_profile.png

2. Enter the donation.

If you are charging a credit card using a payment processor that accepts recurring donations, you will have the option to begin a monthly donation or an installment plan. If choosing one of these options, the restrictions on membership expiration will apply. 

3. At the bottom of the right column, select the membership type and expiration (if desired).

gift_membership.png

4. If the membership is a gift, check "Gift this membership" and select the recipient from the "Membership for" drop-down menu. The recipient of a gift membership must already exist in your people database.

5. Click the yellow button, which will say either "Save donation" or "Pay donation via [payment processor]."


Problem processing payment

If there is a problem processing an initial credit card payment, the potential member will receive an autoresponse email encouraging her to update her credit card information. Once the payment is processed, membership will begin. This applies to a one-time donation, the first installment payment, and the first monthly donation. 

If there is a problem processing installment payments or monthly donations after the first payment, membership will stop, and the member will receive the membership payment failed autoresponse email encouraging her to reactivate her membership. 

autoresponse_failed_payment.png

The above autoresponse can be edited from Settings > Memberships > [Membership name] > Autoresponses > Failed payment.

Please note: when your payment processor is unable to complete an installment payment or recurring donation, the member will only receive a failed payment autoreresponse. She will not receive the expiring or expired autoresponse emails.

Allowing a grace period for the membership will allow your members to continue accessing members-only content on your website while taking time to update their credit card information.


How to create a donation page

How to set up memberships in your nation

Monthly installment memberships renew with each payment

If you’re unclear on how this feature works, please ask a question. If you would like to see changes to this feature, please submit a suggestion.

Not finding what you're looking for? Browse the Finances FAQs